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Loading existing MP3s to iTunes
post Jan 20 2006, 11:08
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I have a number of my CDs ripped to MP3s - using EAC and Lame - that I want to load onto my new iPod. What are the relative merits of importing them into iTunes via adding the folder containing the tracks vs ripping the CD (again) from the iTunes software, or other approaches.

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post Jan 20 2006, 18:46
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You should probably just drag the tracks into iTunes and use them directly, if you are happy with the quality.

The argument for re-encoding with iTunes would be to take advantage of AAC encoding, which offers higher quality at a given bitrate. Depending upon the size of your iPod and your encoding bitrate, using AAC @ 128kbps will allow you to load 50% more music on your iPod than 192kbps MP3s at a very comparible quality level. You will also experience a longer battery life per charge using smaller files due to the iPod's caching scheme.

So if you have a large collection that you wish to carry around, it may be worth using AAC. If your collection is smaller and you don't care much about maximizing battery life, leave things alone and save the time.

This post has been edited by BradPDX: Jan 20 2006, 18:53
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Remedial Sound
post Jan 20 2006, 19:06
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Hi John:

If you're like me and consider ripping to be fairly time consuming, your best bet is to just import the mp3s into itunes. I imagine if you're using EAC/Lame that you've already done your homework on getting a quality rip, and IMHO there's little to be gained (particularly vs. the time required) by re-ripping to AAC.

I had a lot of files encoded to Lame --preset standard and --preset medium that I imported once I got an ipod. Since then I've been ripping to AAC 160 kbps through itunes (mainly b/c its faster), and in reality my ears can't tell the difference between lame VBR and AAC.

I would recommend that before importing to itunes that you make sure that your mp3s are tagged correctly (or at least to your liking), as itunes takes the tags and writes the song info to its database based on the tags. After you import, updating the tags on the mp3s will not update the database (unless of course you re-import). Likewise, editing song info in itunes doesn't edit the mp3 tags, only the database.

Hope that helps.
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post Jan 20 2006, 22:38
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QUOTE (Remedial Sound @ Jan 20 2006, 01:06 PM)
After you import, updating the tags on the mp3s will not update the database (unless of course you re-import).  Likewise, editing song info in itunes doesn't edit the mp3 tags, only the database.

Not really true at all.

Editing a file in iTunes will indeed update the MP3's tags, if it can do so. This has its limitations, and it doesn't much like ID3v1 tags, but it does work pretty well for ID3v2 tags.

Editing a tag outside of iTunes won't cause iTunes to reread the file automatically. However, if you play the file or Get Info on the file or do anything else that forces iTunes to read the file, it will reread the tags from the file and update its database accordingly.

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post Jan 20 2006, 23:16
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I agree there is a small benefit in re-ripping your CD's to (a lower than MP3 bitrate) AAC although I think it's hardly worth the effort. It costs a lot of time for a relatively small size decrease.

Mind you, whatever you do, do not re-rip your CD's with iTunes to MP3! Either re-rip to AAC or just import existing Lame MP3's. The iTunes MP3 encoder is notorious for its crappy results.
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